When my father was 30 years old, a terrible thing happened. He broke my trust.
I was four years old.
Up to that moment, I had trusted my father absolutely. In my small childish world, he was God. Since he was God, he could do no wrong. I knew unequivocally that he was perfect and I could trust him totally with my life.
Have you ever seen a father take his baby and throw that baby into the air. You may be squirming because you think that at any moment he is going to drop the baby. The baby is squealing with delight. Fathers throwing babies may be a health and safety nightmare, it may be frowned upon by child protection and parenting groups, but the baby adores it. Nothing brings on a baby’s giggles like a few aerial stunts performed in the adoring hands of her parents. Why?
A much loved chapter in the Bible is Ecclesiastes 3. Everyone recognises the poetry with which it starts.
“To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die:
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal:
a time to break down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh:
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
This can sound terribly fatalistic. What I mean is, it can lead us to think that if daddy drops the baby then it was just time for the baby to be dropped. In my case that would mean, my father destroyed my trust in him because it was time for my trust to be destroyed. I disagree.
Look what verse 11 says.
“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, …”
Recent research by sociologists reveals that belief in an eternal life apart from our bodies is hardwired into each of us. Our tendency to believe in an immortal soul does not explicitly arise from religion—it’s just a part of us. It appears that scientists are just now confirming what Scripture has said all along about our knowledge of eternity.
We are born knowing that life is eternal, because that is how God made us. Those people who don’t believe this have had to consciously deny the truth. This points to something else, I think.
When we are born, there are other attributes we posses as creatures made by God. We have total trust in our parents, for example, because that is how God made us to be. Adam and Eve had complete trust in God and were unable to imagine not trusting God. A certain angel named Satan had to work rather hard to stop Eve from trusting God and get her to trust him instead.
All of you were born trusting your parents absolutely. I don’t think many of you still trust your parents absolutely. Most of you have had your trust destroyed, or at least damaged. We have learned that our parents were not perfect, and thanks to the Bible we also know why they are not perfect.
We don’t blame them. We understand and we forgive them. If you haven’t yet forgiven your father for breaking your trust in him, you should.
What really hurt me was that my own father didn’t even realise what he had done. To this day I can remember the incident. I know where I was, what the weather was like, and how I felt as I realised for the first time that my father was less than perfect. He should have been perfect, because that is how God designed us. He wasn’t perfect, because Satan broke the design.
It changed my life forever.
It changed all of our lives when the trust was broken. Maybe it was broken repeatedly over the course of weeks and years. Broken by lies, the way Satan broke Eve’s trust in God. Every time a father tells a child that they are useless, a waste of space, trust is broken. Even if we are able to recognise it as a lie, we still are damaged. We cannot help but be damaged because parents are supposed to be perfect. In our hearts, we all know that. God planted this knowledge in our hearts.
The baby being thrown in the air giggles because there is total trust. It is a response to love.
The love of a parent for a baby is awesome. Even parents who are not perfect have incredible love for their babies. It took several years before my father accidentally destroyed my trust in him. It was such a small thing as well. He made me a promise. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was something that meant a lot to a little boy.
I waited for him eagerly, and when the time came he forgot. That was it. It wasn’t important and he forgot. He never knew how important it was to me. At that moment, trust was broken.
After years of people breaking their trust, some people come to the conclusion that no one can be trusted. Lawyers cannot be trusted, pastors cannot be trusted and we cannot even trust ourselves. How sad that is. We were created to respond to love with trust, and we live in a world where trust is impossible. Well, maybe not quite impossible.
We have a God who is determined to keep his promise. We have a God who will never break our trust in him. With God all things are possible.
God made us to live in trust, and he will not rest until it comes about.
He started the repair work straight away. The Bible is the story of God’s efforts to restore our trust in him. The Bible is the story of God’s work the ensure all children have perfect parents who are going to love them absolutely and never break their trust.
This is why the Bible is often called a love letter. It demonstrates and relates God’s love for us.
For example, there is God’s promise to Abraham and the story of how he kept his promise.
There is the story of how he fed and clothed the Hebrew people after he rescued them from slavery in Egypt.
These stories are full of examples of how trustworthy God is. Each morning in the desert, the sun rose to show there was manna on the ground. God gave water in the desert. We can trust God.
And then God sent us Jesus, who showed in his life and in his death that we can trust him.
In Jesus, trust is restored. We could never truly trust our parents as we were created to do. But we can totally trust Jesus, just as we were created to do. Jesus enables us to be re-born and have a father we can trust forever.
Jesus was willing to die before he would betray our trust. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit after he left. He did. As you read the Bible, you will see example after example of how great it is to trust Jesus. Let go of the lies of Satan, the lies that say you cannot trust God. Let go of the lies that say you cannot trust anyone. Reject the lies that tell you how bad you are.
Trust the message of Jesus that he loves you. He is taking you to heaven if you obey him.
As you feel the love of God, you will feel trust in God. It will come as naturally as the giggles come to a baby when a loving father tosses his child into the air.
You are the baby. God is your loving father. Trust him.